Friday, March 9, 2012

Photography 101 | Coming Soon!

I'm very excited to announce the start of a new series on my blog: Photography 101!  I've been wanting to write this set of blog posts for months, but I wasn't able to dedicate enough time to them until now.  I'm so thrilled to finally get started with this new endeavor.

I suppose perhaps I should start off by explaining why I decided to create this series.  During the time I have spent in the world of pro photographers, I have learned that there seems to be two schools of thought.  Some photogs are insanely friendly and will do anything and everything they can to help out a newbie.  Others, quite frankly, treat newbies like they are lower than the gum they scraped off the bottom of their shoe, forgetting that they were once newbies themselves.  I absolutely do NOT want to ever fall into that second category!  I wouldn't be where I am today without the help of others, and I want to "pay it forward" if and when I get the opportunity.

Learning to use the manual settings of a DSLR camera can be a challenge. I've had so many people tell me that they own a DSLR camera, but only shoot using the automatic settings.  They tell me that they want to learn how to shoot in manual mode, but have no idea where to start.  Are you one of these individuals, dreaming of learning manual mode, but wondering where to begin?

If so, I assure you that you are not alone!  I remember sitting in my Intro to Photography class on the first night, feeling completely overwhelmed and like I was NEVER going to figure out how to shoot in manual mode.  I remember asking my professor if there was some sort of thought process I should be going through to figure out what settings to use.

As time went by, I realized that I do in fact go through the same thought process every time I compose a shot, and I am going to share that thought process with you through a series of posts over the next few months.  My plan is to start off explaining each camera setting, what it does, and how the settings all work together to create an image.  Once I've covered the basics, I will detail the thought process that goes into how I select my camera settings for each photo I create.  From there, I will go into a few other topics that may be helpful to you as you learn manual mode.

I am by no means claiming that my way of shooting in the only way, the best way, or even the right way. What it is is MY way, and it works for me. I hope that you find some of the information I provide useful as you travel the path to figuring out how to best use manual mode to create your own beautiful photographs.

While I can provide you with tips and tricks, what I can't tell do is you how your individual camera controls work to change each of the settings.  So before we get started, I would recommend digging out your camera manual and reading up the following things:

1. How to adjust your aperture

2. How to adjust your shutter speed

3. How to adjust your ISO (International Standards Organization) settings

4. How to read your camera's exposure meter

Then join me next week and get ready to become a manual mode master!

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

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